Do it yourself O2 kit questions... (sorta long)

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Posted by Bill McCuistion ( on December 23, 1999 at 23:37:13:

OK, I had this long discussion with my doc about the required O2 rig: Needed to be 8-10/lpm, non-rebreathing bag-type mask, use for 10-15 minutes at the first sign of a CH-attack, don't fall asleep with it, etc. He says OK. I had this same discussion with his nurse-assistant who actually called in the prescription. She says OK. The medical O2 company calls. We have the same discussion. They want to talk to the doc, then call me back, say OK, and we set up the appointment to have two tanks delivered. A stationary base unit for the house/office and a second "pony bottle" for taking with me on outtings.

They arrive with guess what? A refrigerator sized O2 compression unit which maxes out at 2 lpm with the whimpy under the nose respiratory tube thingy. The fellow who delivers this is a respiratory therapist. We have this discussion where the first thing he says is "You have CH. This won't work, but its the only thing we have and its what your doc prescribed."

He never unloads the gear and leaves.

OK, now I'm ready to assemble my own "possibly not FDA-approved" CH-O2 rig, but am concerned that I do it properly. I understand that there are probably 999 ways to do this the wrong way. If there is anyone who has actually done this "outside" of the established medical community who would like to share their engineering and operating knowledge on the subject, I'd really be interested in it.

What kind of tank?
How do you get O2 into the tank?
Do you treat or filter the O2 before it goes into the tank?
Do you filter or treat the O2 as it is used from the tank?
How do you regulate the pressure: 1 stage or 2?
What kind of pressure guages do you use?
What are the safety rules for handling O2 in a residential setting?
How is everything physically hooked up?
Where do you purchase the equipment?
How do you maintain this equipment over any length of time? How do you inspect it?
About what should this cost?

What is the difference between MEDICAL, SCUBA, AVIATION and WELDING grade air supply equipment, and what should I be concerned with in creating my own rig?

Perhaps this would be a good topic for a presention at the convention?


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